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From Bali with Love

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by downndirty, May 20, 2011.

  1. downndirty

    downndirty
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    The Girlfriend and I are moving to Bali, Indonesia on Tuesday.

    I know fuck-all about the culture, language or country. I've lived abroad extensively before, but not with such a drastic change of culture. We both quit our soul-crushing office jobs last week and are in the process of dropping off the face of the earth.

    FOCUS: Suggestions? Advice? Experiences abroad? What have you done when you quit your day job?
     
  2. DrFrylock

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  3. Nettdata

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    It's a fantastic place.

    A friend of mine's wife and family are from Bali. She's actually the daughter of a tribal chief, I guess you could call it.

    He was going to get married there, except the week before the wedding, that big night club bombing happened and they called it off last minute. But up until that point, the locals had offered all of us (30+) free housing (the owner of a local hotel offered us an entire floor, on the house), and had extended every courtesy to us... without ever having met us.

    One thing you will find is that everyone there are clean freaks, because their medical facilities aren't the best. The best way to stay healthy is to keep everything clean.

    The added bonus is that my friend's wife keeps a spotless house; she probably cleans it twice a day. As an added bonus, before they had their kids, she used to do it naked.
     
  4. Dcc001

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    I lived in Indonesia when I was 16/17. I went back in 2008, and the transformation (in Jakarta, at least) was nothing short of remarkable.

    I lived in a small village called Soroako on the island of what was then called Ujung Pandang. However, I went to boarding school in Australia and as such travelled pretty frequently throughout the country. One of my most common stops was Depensar.

    My advice? Get the fuck out of Depensar. It is the Indonesian version of the touristy part of Hawaii. It's full of stoned surfers, Australians who think they can act any way they wish because they're on vacation, you're bothered constantly by street vendors and it overall does not reflect a true Indonesian experience.

    Travel to the remote areas. Indonesia is an absolutely fantastic country with the most welcoming people, best food and great climate but if you stick to the heavily populated tourist traps you'll never see that.
     
  5. scootah

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    Avoid Australian's in groups at all costs. Bali is a popular destination for bogan football teams on end of season holiday tours. Imagine the worst of british and american tourist cliches, empowered by a rugby team's over developed muscle and enough beer and stupidity to make smuggling heroin seem like a good idea.

    Don't do illegal drugs - the penalties are ludicrous and making an example of foreign assholes is a hobby for indonesian judges. And if you go to a pharmacy with hayfever, they'll sell you over the counter amphetamines anyway. Be aware that if you do go to a pharmacy wanting something for a runny nose, they may well give you dexampehtamines (kiddy speed) and not warn you of the side effects.
     
  6. Stealth

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    Bogan : <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogan" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogan</a>

    Pretty much covers great swarths of the Australian population.
     
  7. Kubla Kahn

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    All my experiences with Aussies in Shanghai were positive, it was the douchebag Europeans (mainlanders mostly, British Isle folk were alright). I don't know about Bali, other than I hear the touristy spots are really expensive. Asia is great because short travels are cheap and there is a shit ton of amazing things to see. It's too bad you have a girlfriend, there are a TON of dime pieces and youll have plenty of chances to fuck them. I had reverse culture shock when I landed back in Chicago a few weeks ago and instead of hundreds of Lily Thai's all I saw were fat elephant assed Americans it made me want to puke.
     
  8. scootah

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    Don't get me wrong, Aussies are mostly awesome travelers. A huge percentage of the coolest young Aussies do a backpacking stint and to quote someone from the RMMB, no matter where you go in the world, you'll find an Irish pub to drink in and an Aussie to drink with. And usually the backpacking demographic are awesome. Bali however attracts the hicks who don't usually travel. The people who bitch about the lack of home style food. Who abuse airline staff for having rules. Who demand to know why locals in a country where english isn't the primary language can't understand perfectly clear shouting. People who think Planking is clever and funny.

    Individually, or in pairs - potentially safe. In large groups? High chance of a hick wedding party or football club end of season junket. All bad.
     
  9. kuhjäger

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    I have travelled quite a bit, and I am convinced that there are no Australians 18-27 in the country. No matter where I went, there were Australians.

    Small hostel in a tiny town in Mexico? Overrun with Australians.
    Tiny town in Czech Republic? Ran into Australians.
     
  10. kuhjäger

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    Also, how long are you planning on being there? By moving do you mean just going off the radar for a while, or do you mean changing your name, and setting up an expat bar on the beach?
     
  11. downndirty

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    We'll be there for at least a year. I'll be teaching English (sort of) and I'll probably pick up something else to do while I'm there along the lines of volunteer work, tending bar or something.
     
  12. lust4life

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    Yet, you both made the decision to pull up stakes and move there?

    Hope it turns out well for you. Good luck!
     
  13. kuhjäger

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    This is something that really stands out. From what I have gathered, the high tourist population of Bali means that there will be enough resources for you to help you out, ie lots of English speakers, signs, and probably a decent consular office.

    As I have mentioned on the board, I am in the process of moving to Sweden with my wife. Right now, I am waiting for them to officially approve my application, but the consular officer I worked with told me that they never deny a spouse of a citizen, basic right of movement and all that stuff.

    But, my wife being a Swede, I know a lot about the country (and I have visited twice). I speak the language, know the customs, how the government works. Cultural understanding is so important when it comes to adjusting, and it helps that my in-laws will help too. When moving to a Western country though, it is typically a hell of a lot easier to adjust. When I moved to Germany I had no real problems with adjusting, and could fit in pretty well. But again, I am a white, blue eyed fellow, so I don't stick out like a brown person would.

    Moving to a country that has a completely different dominant religion, a language with a different script, and a language that has 0 similarities to your native tongue would be mind blowing, and it would be hard to get accepted into the local culture. It is understandable why immigrants from radically different cultures segregate themselves.

    To be honest I think this is what will happen with the OP. He and his girlfriend will mostly surround themselves with people that speak English. There isn't anything wrong with that though.
     
  14. toejam

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    Holy god agreed. I traveled a bit last summer, and it got to be a joke that whenever I met a new group of people in a hostel or on the beach, they were from Melbourne. Good thing they were almost universally outgoing and easy-going.

    I'd stash enough money for plane tickets home and at least a couple month's expenses upon your return in case shit goes south, but otherwise, I've got absolutely no advice. Good luck, I'm working on mustering up the balls (or boredom with my status quo) to do something like that.
     
  15. Disgustipated

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    I've never been to Bali, avoiding it for the exact same reasons that Scootah has mentioned above. I have, however, done some South East Asian travelling. I'd say that, for at least a while, get used to being treated, and accordingly ripped off, like a tourist. The locals will smile at you while they do this, and be very nice about it. I wouldn't call them on it, because that's considered bad sport.

    The best way to get around this without getting a racial stereotype transplant is to learn to speak like the locals where you are (not just the language itself, but the local dialect and phrasing). You'll gain some respect from them and they'll stop ripping you off... quite as much.

    Then, just avoid the tourist areas and you might stand a chance.
     
  16. audreymonroe

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    How much did Eat, Pray, Love influence your girlfriend's opinion/decision to move to Bali?

    In a week, I'm going to be moving to Costa Rica for a few months. When I come back, the plan seems to be that I'll be then moving to Montreal for a few months to see if I want to go there for good. Or, I'll be coming home from Costa Rica early and going to Israel for the next year. (I'll find out if that's an option in a week, too.) I won't be quitting my day job though, since I work from home and all I need is the internet. That's actually why I'm going to Costa Rica, because I figured I might as well.

    Any combination of these options is going to be interesting. I'm going to be about a month short of spending more time out of the country than in it at the end of the year if I do the Costa Rica/Montreal route, or if I go to Israel it's a definite. I think that would just be fun to say.
     
  17. MadDocker

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    I’ve been to Bali around 8 times now because it is such a cheap holiday from Perth and only 3 hours away. I went twice with a girlfriend and just chilled out, saw the sites and had a nice relaxing time. The other times I went with mates and pretty much run amok…

    We didn’t go out to cause trouble for anyone and did our best to stay away from family and couple areas but from the time we arrived there was not a waking minute without a drink in your hand. I am sure being close to a bunch of drunk & high (those dexampehtamines Scootah mentioned when taken by the handful get you buzzing along nicely) Aussie blokes is not everyone’s idea of a nice holiday but we had a blast and met heaps of other groups of people that partied with us.

    End of the day, stay out of the main tourist areas like Kuta if you want to relax. It’s a nice country with some nice scenery and most of the locals are really friendly and will go out of their way to (get your money) help you.
     
  18. downndirty

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    Neither one of us has seen/read "Eat, Pray, Love". We've been here for not even 24 hours, and the hotel we're staying at is full of Australians. So far, everything is as expected. One thing is for sure: it beats the shit out of a 9-5.
     
  19. PewPewPow

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    I'll be in Bali with a friend some time around mid-July. Where should we go to meet hot chicks and drink without running into a horde of Australian dudes? We're talking tiki bars, not night clubs.
     
  20. scootah

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    You could try Phuket? Bali isn't that big a place - and as much as I shit on the quality of the Australian's who make up the lion share of their tourist market, they'll be able to find the places full of hot girls.

    Mid July is early for the tax return tourists, but June 24 to July 11 is term break for schools and universities - so depending on exact dates, you might find yourself wading in broke students trying to defrost. In which case, good luck avoiding hordes of Aussies.